Thursday, November 9, 2023

Mohawk Thoughts and Selections, November 8, 2023

 Race 3

Even with the 10 hole, can any of these handle Goober Smack? It doesn't appear so. Can he keep it going, or does he regress a bit? That is doubtful, as he hasn't even been pushed or asked to do anything close to what it appears he can. I can only see one who has the ability to go with him and even then, that is a stretch. 

GOOBER SMACK seems well within himself, and mtb with this group. He would have to regress in a very large way to not get the job done. As with last week, if he post parades as is, which he did last time, he is virtually a cinch. Post 10 poses no problem as long as he avoids any traffic breakers.

LMC MR SQUISHY is really the only one who has any shot on talent to beat the chalk. On his best day, he is capable of that. He behaved last time and ground down one who was on a roll. Now he meets the beast he avoided last time. I said last time, you don't know what you will get from him each week. If we get the best version of him, its possibly a race. 

LOCKDOWN ROMEO is a nice enough, steady, reliable trotter. He goes what he can and isn't without a chance if the chalk blows up and his main rival reverts to his bad boy image. Otherwise, he seems short of their ability. I cant back him against both of them. 

NAPOLEON HILL miles over his head with these if he shows up.

SID THE KID is improving, but not enough to beat the top 2 at this stage. If he matures well, he could be the best of the 3 next year. That is a call for another day or year.

DEVILS KISS was going all he could last time to nab 3rd money. Now he meets those and others from the other division. Pass. 

VUNDERBAR doesn't show he can be anywhere near the ticket.

P L ROBERT G seems like he has okay, but limited ability. I prefer others who show more and deliver. Good overnight type, but not stakes caliber.

BRUTALIZER seems overmatched with these. pass

ROYAL DUHARAS has some upside and is improving. He is the longest of longshots to win this, but not a toss like some others. He has a chance at 2nd money if one of the top 2 dont perform.

Race 4

PAM is the classic money burner type who eventually wins at a bigger price when absolutely every possible thing goes right. Something like a pocket trip, which she had last time, a leader who caved in completely, but not before she was out and by her, which happened last time, and a backfield wiped out by a breaker, which didn't happen last time. Horses like PAM don't win a race, others simply refuse to beat her when she tries to give up. Tonight, you get chalk PAM again. I wouldn't take those odds, just as I didn't last week. Look elsewhere. 

PAM is well on her way to cementing her professional maiden status, yet, she is a solid money maker and likely will have 40k made before she transitions to the nw2 class or goes straight into a conditioned claimer. I'm not sold that they overuse her just enough in races to make sure she gets picked up. Either way, she always looks viable but doesn't seal the deal. I expect tonight to be more of the same. 

AVAS ANGEL BABY might go off as the chalk, based on her connections, her previous ability and the fact this barn qualifies them twice to have them race ready off the shelf. I want to see her parade, as they are also prone to racing cripples. She looks like a winner coming off the page. 

RED DIRT FLASH will have to start better and do more to be viable. I'm not saying that isn't possible down the road, but so far, she hasn't. I will watch her but I would use her as a cover as she seems good enough on her best day and she is race fit.

WINDSUN COCO spots them 15 plus lengths every time and hasn't shown she is capable of erasing that yet. Brethour is a cagey guy who brings in a lot of maiden boxcar types. Beware, but she has to start better. Pam is Pam, but you don't beat her giving her a 15 length head start.

SILENT LUCIDITY needs to start better to have a shot. That could be on the table here from this post. She is one of many capable of stepping up if the two faves revert to the mean of how they have raced before.

DECKED OUT has a win already and ships in from Pocono where she was double digit odds every start and didn't really appear dangerous. She looks like she will be heading to a new home or conditioned claimer if she doesn't go forward in the next start or two. If her odds are lower this time, I will consider her.
WILDCAT HERA  is on a better rotation now and closed up nicely last time. If she can pick up live cover, she has a shot to take them all down. I'd think she brings 9-2 or slightly higher.

ACEFORTYFOUR BELLA is the type that wins races like this. She has sort of hung around for weeks, not racing bad, not being vigorous. She would be a protection use based on the questions I have on both of the probable favorites and the racing style of the other contenders.

Race 5
Jonny Boots is very similar to Pam and what i said about her. But, he is a trotter, and sometimes it just takes time for them to put it together. As with Pam though, no way I am taking any kind of short price on Jonny Boots. He can beat me. Its a very thin bunch underneath him, but a couple have better variables than last time and if Jonny Boots is the fave, they are value underneath. The balance are impossible to stomach. 

QUICK FIX has the makings of a cripple, but on one day every few months, he achieves what he probably was before he went on the downhill slope. I have a hard time backing something that looked as bad as he did on the last turn last time, but anythings possible with green trotters. 

VIMY RIDGE VENTI shows nothing to suggest he belongs in this race. Nuff said

QUEEN INDEED was done in by the 10 hole last time but she can leave fast and if rated this time, and gets a breather, she turn the ship right back around. 

JONNY BOOTS picked up 3rd money last time, but again, he wasn't threatening the real contenders. One day he will get it done. It could be tonight, but, I prefer others who have not yet proved they blow good opportunities many times over.

THE RIGHT TIME will lose the big price this time, as she was a for sure winner last time if not used so early from the outside to gain up close position, and then moved early to take the lead, which only one of them took away. I'd think she is 3-1 or less this time, but is very viable if she parades like she looked on the track last time.

ARCHIMEDES has potential, but even though Lyle was once a top notch driver, those days are long gone. I will wait until they put a catch driver on him. If I was playing the multi legs though, Id use him because he is as good as any.

BELVEDERE FRANKLIN ships in from Flm. He has upside potential but the things that work for him at the small tracks wont play here. Lets see how he adapts. Minor shot only because so many of these just don't impress me and he did win his last.

STARLITCRESENTROLL was parked out last time but held his ground the rest of the way. He is another option for a big price if you don't like the short priced ones, which I don't. 1 for 40 the last two years doesn't inspire confidence.

GO HAVE FUN draws the 9 hole, has the trainer driving and needs a clean line. On top of that, her form and previous efforts are horrid. Complete toss for me and I'd think most.

SHAWN POPS looked horrid in the race last time. He has a long way to go to get back to where he was as a fresh colt. Pass and watch. 

Race 7

Drivers race from my view. Trophy Taker draws the 10, and he has showed me troubling signs, but he can leave fast and carry it a fair way. I will go against him, but he can effect the outcome. 

STONEBRIDGE THRILL has gait and immaturity issues, but he is a fast closer and likely the best of this bunch going forward. I'd use him but I would never single him. 

TROPHY TAKER runs in bad every time, even when he drives away, which he really didn't do last time. He did go a big mile to break his maiden, but mostly, it seems 53 is all he wants at this stage and that wont play here. Adding in the 10 hole means he likely gives it up on the last turn if challenged, assuming he makes the top. 

MAGICAL AOINE raced solid last time, but was all out for 2nd. I think he is a few steps behind my top 3 in here, and I will pass on him.

BE RIGHT THERE is the apparent value here. He needs to find a way to get on Stonebridge Thrills back and ride him to mid stretch. If that happens, he has a shot to pass him late at a decent price. He does run in, so losing that ground may cost him, but the price should be right to take that risk. 

ROCKET FREIGHT doesn't look good enough to go with most of these in the stretch, but he can get some money and is capable of 3rd if a lot of things break his way. 

FLAG PARTY didn't look good parading or on the front end last time and he packed it in early. A reversal is not out of the question, but this isn't a soft bunch. I will pass on him.

MAX PATRICK looks good for a chunk, but he would need a ton to go right to get 1st money. I'd use him as a cover, but I don't like his chances. To many viable options for him to take them all down. 

LISBON SEELSTER lost some momentum in the stretch last time then came on again. If there is a bombs away horse in this bunch, he could be it. He needs them to battle in front of him, and that isn't out of the question.

BRUDON looked overmatched last time and draws the 8 hole here. Hard to see how he gets it done with these. Another day for him.

LIKE A GLOVE has tried various styles and none have worked at this level. Post 9 makes it easy to toss him here.

Race 10

Tough race. 

STONEBRIDGE BRAVO has missed almost a month from a vet sc sick. She is a habitually slow starter and only moderately gains on these, enough to pick up small slices. She is the ML choice. Because her overall times are better than most of these, and she shows a 52 and change mile on the page, she is likely to take action. Her racing style and lack of wins means that she will go the speed they do, and that makes her a bad favorite if she goes off as such. Obviously, a horse that finishes 3rd in the Gold Superfinal should handle this bunch, but it doesn't always work that way. 

YANK MY HALO will go 2nd start on lasix and has been on the fringes for weeks. If you don't care for the chances of the rail horse at her very likely short odds, he is a good viable option at a reasonable price.

HP RUN FOR DAN moved to a new trainer last time off the layoff, but showed little improvement. He is both a slow starter and mediocre at best finisher. He is hard to like in this spot, but he does have a decent win mark and if he somehow could produce that, he isn't impossible with this weak bunch.

TALISMANO is 1 for 30 the last two years and that win was at Pocono, likely in a maiden, which is where he currently fits on the class scale. Unfortunately for him, he has that win and cant race against those. He will have to do a lot more to beat even the weak ones he faces here.

NORTHERN CLASSIC is a strange entry in this class as she has been just barely okay at Flm against much softer than these. She doesn't show any of the speed that most of these do. Its hard to like her at this point. I would think this is just a test drive to see how she goes over the big track now that she is more mature and is already making breaks at the Bs now that the competition is getting tougher.

MAJORDANCEMOVES is the wildcard in this race as he ships in from Dayton and gets the trainer change. He had poor posts his last two but shows going right to the top the start before that, which he won. He will have to be seen parading, but I'd think he is a major contender in a race where most are spinning their wheels.

MSFRANNIE another shipper with a new trainer, this one from the Meadows and goes to Moreau. She didn't race at 2, but lately, she has come on strong, albeit against the very weak Meadows nw1 and nw2 classes, which are rarely deep this time of year. Nevertheless, she is 6 for 6 in the top 2 on the page with 3 of those wins. With the move to the tougher circuit and move to the bigger track, can she take her 58 speed and go 56 or faster? That is the question. She hooks up with JMac for her Mohawk debut.

GLENFIDICH has not looked viable in 3 starts at this level, and while Filion sticks with him over many others he was listed on, most of those are no shot longshot types. This guy is not a no shot type, but he is hard to like since he won the maiden race, is 2 for 27 lifetime and one of those was a win at Flm last year. Post 8 doesn't help his cause and he is already a slow starter.

TWIN B SHOWMANCE left well last time but gradually faded out of it and Filion picked his stablemate over him even though both are big longshots at best. He doesn't seem to have the overall speed of maybe 3 or 4 others here. I would think he is looking for a new home in the very near future. 

SISTER ACT has been lucky to hold 5th money off two easy trips where she faded badly. Post 10 this time, she has become an easy toss. I don't know where she goes from here, but its not working right now with these types.

Monday, November 6, 2023

Mohawk Thoughts and Selections, November 6, 2023

Race 2

Will the favorite be as good in the new barn and will anyone challenge him if he makes the lead? That is the story for this race. Not a very deep field, which means likely not many willing to sacrifice.

WARRAWEE XALT goes off the claim and that could be an issue here. He is a tricky horse, although he has come a fair ways in that respect since he was a colt. He doesn't make a lot of breaks in stride now, but he is capable of that. McNair sticks and that is a plus. He should know him well by now. He has become very much a front end type and has won 2 of his last 3 at this level and was 2nd in the other. Hence, why he was claimed and why he will likely be staying only this start in the new barn. If challenged, he can be picked off in the lane, as he was last time. The question is will he be as good in the new barn and will someone go after him?

NORTHERN CHARLOTTE has recently moved up to this level now that her sire stake career is over. She has been a bit player, but is adapting. She draws the rail again, and she generally starts slow from that spot, which makes it tougher for her to be close enough to challenge for the win. Others are capable of 53, and I'm not sure she is yet.

ANCIENT WALL came to this track as a big ticket yearling, now 4yo bust. He immediately took to the easy conditions, winning two in a row as he blew through nw2 to this level. Since then there have been problems. He broke last time as a longshot, then was scratched sick and basically has not raced an entire mile in 6 weeks. He is hard to like when he needs about 2 seconds to beat these even if he is right and fit. Pass for now.

DEVILS ARCH picks up JMac and seems like he is finally getting his act together on a more consistent basis as he works his way up the ladder now to see how far he can go. He closed very well last time and has a shot here if someone else goes after the chalk and softens him up. He could be a value play. At this level, he seems to have one move and it has to be times. He cant blast out and outspeed them. 

MATCH MEIF YOU CAN a 3yo filly taking on aged horses and some mares. She is 2 for 2 since moving to Gillis and adding lasix. And dominant at that. She could easily blast and sit on the chalks back. These are generally much tougher and will be a test for her.

STORMONT DIVIDE always makes a horrible post parade appearance with his racky and ugly gait, but he goes with it most times and only makes the odd break. However, he is forced to move up sharply here and needs more overall speed. I haven't seen that yet. I will pass and watch. 

ITSTIMETOGOHOME blasted off from the 10 hole last time but gradually began to pack it in and was well up the track. To me, he doesn't look to be up to the challenge of this level and will be more viable when he drops some money and gets in with cheap non winner types. 

BUSTING WITH PRIDE is a bit of a slow starter and that contributes to his winless record this year. He finishes well but doesn't do enough to get by the winner, hence his 8 for 15 record on the board this year. He is the type that would benefit here if someone went after the favorite and made him work hard before the top of the stretch. 

Race 6

If the fave comes to play, they are all racing for 2nd. She looks tough but does sit back and that means traffic and possibly breakers to avoid, as she had to last time.

P L RAINBOW DASH has gradually come on late in the season to be a top shelf OSS type. She was 2nd in a gold and then 3rd in the final for big money. Off that, last time, she had the trailer in a big field, yet just sat back and McClure measured them the entire way to just sail by without much effort, as she did in the first leg. If she is as is, she looks like a 1-5 cinch. 

RADICAL LEGACY won 5 in a row to start her career going into her last but met the one above, who had done a lot more speed and class wise. She finished 3rd but was placed back for interference. If the chalk happens to blow up, she looks like she has an edge on the balance and you likely get 9-2 or maybe a bit higher. She is a 2yo filly though, so she must be seen as week to week, especially this time of year, they get sore without much warning.

TEA LAKE is a 12 time maiden facing proven high end stakes fillies. She will pick up Roy for the final, but I don't see her as competitive against the top 2, unless of course, they both jump it off. In that scenario, she is as good as the balance, but not much better, and she will bring a big price if you like the chances of that happening. I would think she is hoping for 3rd or 4th money.

ABIKADABRA is the type in a race like this that can pop up and grab 2nd money. She trots steady, rarely makes a break and that can be valuable in a race like this. She doesn't show any ability to take both the top 2 down if they stay at it. Bit player on paper, but she has a shot if things go wrong. She can capitalize. J Mac is good with this type.

ROYAL CANDICE looks like an outright toss in this one, as she belongs in a maiden race, in which she would be no cinch. Her double digit odds and performance in the previous two legs reflect that. 

MUSCONE was wiped out down the backside last time and had no shot but raced well to be 2nd in the first leg and that is an indication of where she fits on the pecking order of these. She is about 3rd to 5th best if the two faves perform. If not, then she is a win candidate. I would think she would like to be near the top to avoid that problem this time. So far, she has not showed any leaving ability, but that doesn't mean she cant.
ZIPPY ZIPPORAH picks up Young as JJ is away. She has very good gate speed and I would expect her to deploy that here. She was a bit player in the Gold but did compete and show some ability, more suited to these types. If she gets out near the top and others make mistakes, she could luck into a trip that nabs first or second. 

SHETROTSALOT has 10 starts and has not made the top 2 yet. That puts her behind many of these. She is a decent leaver and Trevor might decide to take a shot and use that to pick up a big piece. Big longshot but not an outright toss. 

KARENS DREAM is a very easy toss from the 9 hole on her form alone. She has many here who beat her even if others fail. 

Race 8
Will Ann behave? Can she take a tough parked out or challenged front end trip and finish it out? Is she experienced enough to rely on or does she alternate good and bad efforts at this stage? Hard to say, but she hasn't been reliable yet.

ANN has very high end talent but the issues that sometimes come with that. She is very green, and also a bit of a headcase. She sometimes blows the turns, and even when she doesn't, isn't always easy to rate. She might be getting better at all that with more racing.
She seems much better than all of these on talent, but the 9 hole evens that out a touch. If she blasts off, she will likely have a few challenge her. I'd be inclined to take a shot against her if they overbet her and create value elsewhere. She wired them last time, but got a very reasonable 2nd q to achieve that. That isn't likely to be on the table here. When she has been parked or made to work for it, she has given it up.

ONE MORE BET has taken down two legs in this series, easily. She was very impressive in the first leg and then just coasted unchallenged last time to the easy win. However, both times she ran in horrible, almost going inside pylons although all alone. That is a concern. She likely tries to trip out here and brush late on the chalk if she insists on the lead. I'm inclined to go against her but use her as a cover against the chalk because of the value she might bring against that rival if they hammer her.

SCRIVENER HANOVER shows a maiden win in at Rideau and has started 9 times. She was a cheap yearling who has become a solid racehorse and done well, but she looks overmatched against the top end of this bunch. I cant see her doing any better than she has in the legs of this series, which is 4th money.

DEFININGTHE MOMENT is an 8 time maiden facing proven winners, who she hasn't really made a dent in against in the legs of this series. She has potential going forward, but I don't see her as any threat tonight. Pass and watch. She will be heading back to maidens at some point, and she might be value then if she hooks a bearcat.

WICKED LEADER has had a long season and seems to have lost her edge and form as she entered this series. She was taken down late as the fave in leg 1, then just went with the pack in leg 2. She is capable enough if she turns that around, and the McWicked's seem very variable in what you get from them week to week. She has some value as a cover horse on that small chance. She has a good post and can do some damage if she can beat one of the faves to the 2 hole and capitalize up the rail late. Trevor has been known to do that in big races on big priced horses.

QUIET ASSURANCES has stepped up her game on the move to the big track in this series. If she continues to improve, she is a good longhshot play here. She closes fast late and that might be valuable in this one. She could be the now horse before anybody figures that out.

TAMARA HANOVER was 2nd best to the easy winner last time, and while she pulled pocket on the turn, she went nowhere and had to work hard to hold 2nd money. This is a deep bunch. I cant see her against the best of this bunch. Pass. 

PEELER has a maiden win to show for 13 tries. She loses Filion to one of the faves. She has a shot to make the bottom of the ticket, but looks overmatched for the win. Pass. She might be okay in nw2 when she goes back there.

ALWAYS A CATCH looks to be about 2 months behind some of the better ones in here and drawing bad, I would think her connections would be happy with a small chunk. She is still a maiden facing a Gold Winner and others close to that level. Pass.

Race 9

No clear favorite here, but a couple who are logical co favorites. Both beatable and there are a few that can take them down. Good race to go deep in the exotics and I'd be 4 deep with any of those 4 possible.

PRETTY SPECIAL is done with the Sire Stakes and now grinds her way up the ladder to see where she fits. She seems pretty solid and consistent at this stage. Float out midpack, find decent cover, swing wide on the last turn and then go what she can to sail by most times. Last time, she was 2nd doing that after reeling off 3 straight. She is beatable but viable. 

BELLA CAVALLA returned from Yonkers last time, picked up Henry and changed tactics, leaving out hard and then securing a good trip, but she had no room to go forward. She is more likely to pick up cover and leave mid pack this time, which is a trip she knows well and does well with. She can drift late, but she goes forward doing it. Big shot.

CRYSTAL BALLER jumped it off last time while near the back of the pack. Other than that, he has been on the fringes with these for a few starts, and actually draws a lot better than he has in his last 6. For that reason, and since the faves are okay but no bearcats, he has a decent shot. Trevor sticks with Bella, so McClure takes over and that is not an issue. If he can stay trotting and beat a few away, he has a shot to trip out at a fair price.

BELVEDERE BRONX had been leaving in most starts and fading late, so he was taken back last time and raced okay. Still needs to do more, but with a better post here, in a drivers race, if he can leave fast and sit most of the rest of the way, at the mercy of trip luck, he has an upset shot to take them all down at a decent price.

KEVIN ANTHONY didn't have Phil last time and that was an issue as he knows him well and has driven him in most of his starts. He ran and was well out of it the rest of the way. Otherwise, he takes a tag here to face these, but they aren't any easier than the ones he has been facing and I would think playing him will wait until he drops some money and moves down the ladder. These look beyond his reach.

FRENCHY HANOVER looks like a good long term prospect as she ages, but for now, she is in very tough with this bunch when she is a good nw2 type, but not dominant yet there either. She has won her way out of that class but is caught in between that class and this one when many of these have multiple wins and come in on the claiming tag angle. Cant see her here.

LOOKSLIKAGOODFELLA has shown flashes of high ability at times, but as he races on and ages, he needs to do more. To date, he hasn't. He might do well with a change of scenery, but for now, and tonight, he doesn't figure with these. He will need to toughen up to compete at this level, and that was a knock on his sire at times as well. Pass.

ZIP ME UP is 2 for 36 on his career, and one of those wins was a two, the other this year at Georgian. He seems like a solid 56 trotter, and while that's fine, that wont play with these. He did well in the pop up series to get three 2nd place finishes, but he was a big longshot in all of those and this is a major step up for him along with the far outside post of this group. Not tonight for me.

Race 10

Tough race. A few who have high upside who dont always perform. Odds will determine value and post parade is key.

AMIGO VOLO has made more than 2 million in his career, has duked it out with the best, and still shows up every week. He has been right there in his last 4, but met the buzzsaw that is Logan Park, and then was 2nd best to a couple with stakes wins on their cards. He is the likely lukewarm fave here, and possibly he could bring 5-2. His consistency and class play well here without the usual top suspects in the field.

PEMBERTON on his best day might be the best of this bunch. He has had serious injury issues over his entire career, and they just flare up from time to time. When he can overcome them, he is very tough to fend off in the stretch, and that was the case last time as he mowed them all down. I suspect he is the chalk here, and I will go against him because of how rarely puts 2 in a row together anymore in the high end class like this

ONEY HALL seems to be rounding into form, and he performs better in the winter months for some reason. When he is good, he is tough to handle. He is showing signs of that lately. He appears to be the value here. 

FLEURIE is razor sharp now since she moved to Moreau, and will be tested against these, who are a much different proposition than what she has faced and beat her last two. She has longshot upside if that plays out, but I wouldn't take less than 5-1 on her and really she should bring more than that. McNair picks against her, and that is significant. 

TRUFFLES TOO frequently wins his way out of the lower condition to this and then struggles mightily with these. That was the case last time. He is capable of picking up a piece if one runs, another gets a bad trip, things like that. He doesn't look viable for the win slot.

WHITE TIGER very similar to Truffles Too, but White Tiger is a shade more capable of making the ticket, while a very rare threat for the win at this level with serious Grand Circuit types in it. 

WARRAWEE XENIA races at the very highest level there is, yet strangely, she has not won a race this year, even when she has faced softer than these. She is tricky to keep trotting and has soundness issues, but McClure knows her and babies her to some extent. On her best day, when fit, healthy and sound, she could blow by all of these. She is the type you have to cover with because she can beat you on any given day.

PATRIARCH HANOVER earns almost 200k a year, but at this level, when the good ones are still around, he has trouble sealing the deal. I don't see him doing much with the best of these. Perhaps when this class gets thinner.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Mohawk Thoughts and Selections, November 2, 2023

Race 1 

 Goober Smack 
He should continue to step forward in his third lifetime try and can lay the smackdown on his rivals again tonight at what figures to be a price of the shortest variety. 
That is what Reid states in the journal. That is, of course, the logical position to take. He is fast. Faster than most of these. He is doing it easily, so the theory is that he has much more in the tank. He has more experience now, so he is more likely to be put on top, maybe a backstretch breeze to the top. That is the theory. But he is still an unknown quantity. 
To me, he has the makings of a Gold colt next year, and since he is a homebred, a cheap bred at that, they were either in no hurry to get him there, or he needed time. His sire seemed to need a bit of time to get to the high level he did. Ive seen others in the family not race at all until they are aged horses. 
That doesnt mean there wont be bumps and stages along the way. If as is, how he was first out and then last week, he steamrolls these in probably 56 if the weather and track accommodate. Will he be as is? Thats hard to say. No matter how you baby them, and make no mistake, he was babied along in his first start, which he could have easily won if that was the motivation, its still racing at race speed and none of them are used to that until they experience it. With a colt like this, post parade and score down are key. They will start to show it by doing little things, like cocking their head, or being ever so slightly steppy or sore behind. If not, and the likelihood most dont want to take him on, he makes front or pocket, gets easy fractions, and breezes home well and easily clear. However, the jury is still out until he is challenged or headed and he has to fight back.
Its always good to remember that the theory that they get better as they race more is a fallacy. Some do, but some regress with the stress and pounding of racing. They might even need a few starts to adapt to that before they come back to themselves again. Busy Making Moni is one that experienced that and was showing signs even while he was winning early that he was feeling the pinch. The other night, he seemed to finally be over the hump where experience and maturity meets soundness and adaptation.
Other than Goober Smack, there are two others who will bring a price relative to the chalk.

P L ROBERT G has gradually taken his time down, hit the ticket in his last 4, and been near the win photo most times. If the chalk were to falter, he is next in line on paper to be the one. Id say 7-2 is fair value, and you might even get 4-1 if they go overboard on Goober Smack. He has tried it on top, and then first over, but his best chance lies with making an early lead, letting the chalk brush by easily, and popping the pocket early stretch to see if he can wear him down. 

DEVILS KISS has had a long season chasing grassroots types and is now a 12 time maiden as a 2yo. If he makes the final he will be 14 starts into his first season and have raced many months from early summer to almost December. Since he doesn't appear to be a grassroots type, I guess get as much money now as you can. He came on late last time to be in the win photo, in what would be considered the softer division, sans Goober Smack. He shows 3 breaks in stride in 8 lines on the page, so he needs some handling. That said, he is competitive with these and fast enough to win if 57 is good enough. Minor shot and I'd want at least 8-1 to try him.

Race 2

TROPHY TAKER is very similar to Goober Smack, except he is already farther along the curve. He is a late starter to the season, missed all the Sire Stakes, and now 4 starts in. He was taken back and brushed late in his debut, similar to the one above. Then, hammered in the wagering, he was sent down the road in 51.4 to score easily and impressively. Off that start, he wasnt quite as good and met a colt who was good enough to make him pay in the stretch. Which he did. He sailed by this guy easily and Trophy Taker was clearly 2nd best. Working for the lead and having to pace on when challenged exposed him just a shade. Moving up to face winners also played into that situation. Last time, similar race, similar result. He went to the top as the heavy chalk but was mowed down in the lane by another who had showed flashes of talent. I would think he might be looking for an inside trip and some cover this time. There are more than a few capable but spotty ones who could step up here. I would take a shot against him this time if he is 1-2 or less. He hasnt regressed, but seems to have stalled at about this speed. One of many to me. The favorite, but a suspect one.

LYONS GERRARD has 3 starts and has not hit the ticket. He hasn't even really been dangerous and goes 2nd start Moreau but loses JMac. He did suffer interference last time, so he gets a slight pass on that. He will have to show more, but he isnt a toss at this stage. 

HONOLULU VACATION shipped in from Flamboro last time for his 2nd life start after not showing much in the first one and went off 86-1. He didn't do much but go around with the pack, but did take his time down enough to suggest that he at least belongs on the fringes. He is worth watching and isn't impossible to make the bottom of the ticket in only his 3rd life start.

BETTIN AGAIN has won 2 races at the B tracks, the 2nd for new connections as Team Blais cut bait on him early. He has showed early speed at the Bs, but was taken back off the pace last time, and since he had post 1, I can give him a pass on that. Otherwise, he held his ground while gaining none. He is two to three seconds off the contenders at this point. 

MAGICAL AOINE broke his maiden before exiting the Beaton barn by going to the top, walking the 2nd q and then accelerating from there. He didnt gain control last time and got burned first over in a middle half in 55 and change. He didnt cave in though and JMac sticks with him. He has rebound potential. Overall, he needs another second or two to get all the money. Debatable if he is at that stage yet.

ROCKET FREIGHT is a maiden facing some strong winners here. He picked up a nice cheque in his sires exclusive race when there was one legit one and a lot of other lesser ones. He did suffer interference last time, but he has to show a lot more than he has in all the other races. Pass for now.

SOUTHWIND CIRCUIT beat maidens last time while being off a month, and then was scratched sick last week. He shows 2 52 and change miles in with grassroots types. He has a chance, but likely his price is shorter than the other ones who also do.

MAX PATRICK shipped in from Flm last time, left well and finished well to pick up 2nd money. He draws poorly and loses JJ to the chalk. He could be value if he can get the pocket trip behind that one. 

GEISHAS TREASURE draws the  9 hole and is  0 for 13 so far. He is hard to like based on that and his mediocre form.

Race 3

LOCKDOWN ROMEO has found a good groove since moving from Bax stable to John Holding and moving away from Sire stakes types. Now with two in a row, the last barely hanging in on the front end while under pressure from both sides. His leaving ability is a big plus with these and his form is good, but I will take a shot against him as he appears all out in winning and others can step up. Or at least one of the many in here with talent but issues.

SID THE KID was well back of the gate and off stride last time and was refunded. That is two early breaks in his last 3. In between those, he trotted a solid mile in 57 that would beat most of these. Have to see him post parade and score down. 

NAPOLEON HILL left out well last time but then blew up right after the quarter while another bad actor beside him did the same thing. He got back down trotting quickly but then gradually backed out of it. That they bring him right back when he fits a very soft maiden at Rideau leads me to think they know why he did what he did last time. He will get a different driver this time. 

DR G missed last week sick and shows nothing before that to suggest he contends. Pass. I have to see him at least compete to back him.

WHEELZABLAZIN shows several breaks but he also can leave and carry that speed if he gets a breather. That could put him on the back of Lockdown Romeo and a sweet trip. Another I want to see parade and score down before I rate his chance. He is capable enough if he behaves and comes to play.
BRUTALIZER was first time lasix last time, and went to the top, before being swallowed up by a bearcat in the making and another one who had Gold experience. He held for 3rd, and Fillion sticks with him. He draws well and has competed and even won a Grassroots. He is showing signs of peaking at a good time.

LMC MR SQUISHY hung out with gold types most of the year and held his own, but his only wins were a soft bunch at Hanover and a straight maiden at Mohawk. He left well last time, but began to act up and jumped it off. He was a bad actor in the post parade as well and is clearly not mature mentally yet. He did get back at it fast and finished a clear 2nd. At this point, you dont know what you will get from him. 

Race 4

CACTUSTOTHECLOUDS has become a very consistent type and you know basically what you will get from him. He can trot 55 and change to 56, leave well, needs some type of breather or rest in the mile, and has one brush. Drivers can read the program too and drive him accordingly. Tonight's driver and trainer combo has had him for 4 starts now and he has been 1st or 2nd each time. He is hard to go against and the price will be reasonable with the one below taking money on his shown ability. From this post, his ability to blast out and get a close up trip makes him a decent play if you can get 2-1.

LAST PAGE FIRST, a filly taking on several colts, she shows a lot of breaks on the page and comes off a qualifier. She shows winning in 54 and that would be good enough if she can produce that. She will have to be seen. Im inclined to play against her. 

SISTER ACT beat maidens by gaining control and going a finable slow 2nd quarter, then barely holding on. She always looks good on the track and willing, but in the race, she just doesnt produce. A big ticket yearling, she has been a bust and is likely racing out the early winter then going to the breeding shed. I cant back her for the win.

P L QUINELLA made the grassroots final and raced well but came home with no money. In 3 starts since, he has had 2 bad posts and raced well in the other getting 3rd money. He picks up McClure and he is good with these types. If the faves dont deliver, he is a decent price play at 5-1 or higher. He is a very slow starter and that poses the issue. Perhaps he can get out a bit better this time.

WOMAN OF PASSION is a 2yo filly facing older fillies and many geldings or horses. That isnt a recipe for success in a spot like this when she isnt a bearcat herself. I cant possibly see what the plan would be at this stage of the season. This is a terrible spot for her and my opinion is that she should be eating grass in the field.

IRISH DREAMER ships in from the Bs off two wins but will need vastly more overall speed than you see on the page. I will pass this time. He has to step up and meet winners at this track.

GLENFIDICH won 3 back in a maiden from the 10 hole in 54 and change. An impressive mile. Since then, against these types, he has been MIA. He will likely pop once in the winter, but I dont see this as that spot. 

SHAWN POPS was rushed at 2 and after he bombed out in the Wellwood, he was off for 2 years. Lets see if he can keep up here now that he is racing steady. Winning at 2 means he doesnt get in with maidens, which looks like a more viable play for him. Maybe they will let him in once this winter.

JAYPORT ANNA MAY broke her maiden in the pop up series and then doubled up, but wasnt as dangerous in the final. She draws terrible here and Id think the goal is to take back, brush late for a small piece and see how she fits if and when she draws better at this level. Not tonight for me.

Race 5

PAM has had a lot of chances to get to the wire first but just cant seem to do so. She never races bad, but she is very hard to back when she goes off short like she will tonight. I'd look for something in the mid body of this field to take her down. 

AMERICAN STARLIGHT is a 12 time maiden who has not even gotten 2nd. She is also slow starting as a rule. That would put her at a big disadvantage to Pam if that is the case here. She was able to blast out at Yonkers once and finished well too, but then was on the shelf for a couple of months, which is suspicious. She has enough ability and has faced better than many of these. I will have to see her parade.

SILENT LUCIDITY raced poorly last time in the slop at short odds, raced much better the previous start from the 10 hole and raced very well off the shelf 3 back to be a solid 2nd in 53. I can give her a pass on the last 2 and think she has the ability to produce what she has before, if the price is right. Two to one is not that price. I need at least 9-2 to use her. But she is usable.

RED DIRT FLASH is a B track shipper with 2 life wins already, one of those in 57 at Charlottetown. She was a big ticket yearling for the Maritimes, but that has not panned out and now has shipped West looking to make some money before her conditions run out. She made her first start for new connections last time and did little at Flm, yet ships here. She has upset potential. 

WILDCAT HERA is 2nd off a long layoff late into her 3yo season. She just seemed to go around last time and get fitter, but did go 55 and change on a sloppy track. She has speed and potential. I wouldn't toss her in this spot with questions surrounding anything that looks like a contender in this field. 

HOT COE COE a 2yo, 2nd time starter, who is trotting bred and that breeding indicates soundness issues. Nevertheless, she paces and was well out of it last time but went respectable time. She will have to be seen but Id pass on the win this time. Not impossible she steps up and nabs 3rd though if she is closer and goes forward.

POP THE BUBBLY a 4yo, learned the ropes this summer at KD, but didn't beat straight maidens and is 0 for 18 on the year. She tried her luck here last time, laid out of it and brushed nicely for 3rd money in decent time for what these normally go. JMac chose the 5 horse here over her. That is enough for me to wait another day to see how she responds to going a big mile last time, the first time in ages if ever she has done that.

WINDSUN COCO draws bad, starts very slowly and has shown very little speed to this point as a late starting 2yo. She has finished well at the Bs, but that was against ones that will likely never see this track. They jury is out. I will watch once. 

JILLIAN JIGGS a very late starting 3yo for the Cullen's, who bred her and others from that mare. She has scored easily twice in the last month at the Bs and now ships here before her earnings exclude her from taking this class. She draws badly though and I cant see them blasting off with her. So, lets see how she stacks up and if she can be competitive with A league horses. 

IM A KAREN another late starting 3yo, a homebred, who has done well picking up decent slices but not winning at the Bs. She ships here, but draws the 10 hole and is likely looking to take her time down and wait for another day to compete for the win. She looks like a good winter prospect. Megens elects to switch to a catch driver here.

Race 6

STONEBRIDGE THRILL has not seen a straight maiden or overnight in his 6 race career. He jumped right into the grassroots and lived there until the final. He held his own until that final, but as of today, he still does not start well and digs holes that are hard to win from, as was the case that day when he found a slower half and paced his own final half in 53.2. He picked up a slice then. Last time, back in the Harvest, his odds dropped sharply but he started slow again and dug a hole too deep to climb out of. He was almost a month off then, but, back faster this time, he needs to get involved earlier to take them all down. 

FLAG PARTY has been a fairly consistent colt this year but he finally put it together last time as he left much better and that gave him the jump on the heavy chalk who he meets again here. He paces consistently around 53, sometimes a bit faster, sometimes a shade slower, and his main rival have seen 51 but digs holes and cant overcome them. With the 8 hole this time, he might not be as forwardly placed but he can be as he showed in August when he blasted off from the 9 hole and held his ground the entire way. He could be value if they go overboard on the one above.

WICKED PRINCE stung the favorite last time, then stalked him and blew by him late to score the big upset. He meets much more accomplished and tougher foes here. He isn't impossible, but he will vastly have to step up his game here to take the top 2 down. With the win last week, he is probably already in the final and no reason to gut him here.

BE RIGHT THERE is an 11 time maiden for Jmac and Macintosh, but he has had 4 poor posts in a row and draws better today. He has shown he is good enough to go with these, but a step below late. That doesnt mean he cant step up this time and is good longshot value if he goes off that way this time. Id think 20-1 or more is about right.

BROOKLYN STRONG is in very deep with this group this time and Id think he is hunting for a small slice if he can get it.

LIKE A GLOVE was put on top last time by Filion, who sticks with him, and he faded away in the lane. I expect a different set of tactics this time and a run at 3rd or 4th to get in the final.

LISBON SEELSTER looks to be way over his head on the win front and loses Filion to Like A Glove. I cant see him hitting the ticket. He is much more viable in a maiden race.

BRUDON made the lead after being parked out last time to break his maiden in this series. However, he doesnt look as good as a few who have gone much bigger miles and loses Roy to one of those. He doesnt figure in this spot. 

Race 7

Anybodies race. Faves look logical enough, but they dont win.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Mohawk Thoughts and Selections, March 25, 2022

2 FIT BITT shipped on from Rideau last time, sat the pocket to the classy dropping winner, and almost took him down. Another start like that, and possibly following the 9 horse all the way around looks like a winning recipe for a decent price, say 4-1. I will go with him.
9 ARRAKIS is entered right back after finding a tougher group on Monday night. He blasted off that night, took a seat to the eventual winner, but couldnt go with the contenders when the pace picked up in the lane. He only beat the two breakers, but he did what he could. This is a much better spot, but the post will sting him early if he wants the front again, which he likely does. Contender, but he will need a breather to close the deal.
4 EXEMPLAR raced Monday, and while he is way past his glory days, he still tries hard, and has some ability left. This is a good post for him, and if one of the likely leavers were to jump it off and he could secure an easy pocket trip, he is still capable of beating this weak bunch. Trevor Henry seems to get a bit more out of these old campaigners than other guys, so that is something to hang on to if he gets the right trip.
6 GOALTENDER will make a lateral move here after nabbing 3rd last time. Even though he was the fave that night, he was taken way off the pace, then moved into a completely non advancing flow, but when moved wide, he was even at best and barely got 3rd money. The 2nd place finisher who just missed taking down the winner of that race is back with him, and looks better overall.
3 VEYRON ships back from Flamboro where he wired them last time. He is capable enough with these types if he can get out near the top early and let another go, follow and then pounce if the contenders fail. Minor shot.
5 LOS BALLYKEELAMIGO adds lasix and picks up J Mac on his move back to the big track, after stopping badly at London last time. He is capable enough but his current form is a bit weak. I will go with others
7 ODDS ON AMETHYST on his best day would blitz these. His best days are far behind him and he shows little currently to suggest he is going to step up.
1 SONOFAMILLIONAIRE still has not shown enough in his 5 starts this year to suggest he can compete for the win.
8 DART GUY is completely non competitive at this stage and draws outside. Toss.
7 FROMAKINGTOAQUEEN was 2nd over last time, and closed well, but not enough to get on the ticket. She has had a few at this level already, retains Henry, and has won the class once. She has consistent good late speed and will be my top choice for a price. Id hope for 4-1 or slightly higher.
8 WILDCAT STAR started slow last time, moved up the inside when others moved into the outer flow, but then found a wall and had nowhere to go late, although she was very live. Post 8 means she will need racing luck here, but if she gets it, she is another who can score at a fair price.
4 NOTHINGCOMPARESTOU gets to drop to nw3 as she goes in for the tag. She faded badly last time, but her mother was known to do that and then come right back and race tough. She has good early speedand that can play in a race like this. I like her upset potential here. She paced a back half in 54.3 two back and picks up Sorrie here. That should play with this bunch is she brings something more like that.
6 BABY BONITA qualified well for Budd off a short break, but she has yet to show in her two starts that her Hawthorne form plays on this circuit. I would think she is aiming for the Grassroots program down the line, and this is a nice beginner start. She is possible, as Budd can never be underestimated, but others look sharper and more proven at this track.
5 SHARK HANOVER made the jump up from fts winner at nw1 to nw3 last time, went off the heavy chalk, got away 3rd, gapped down the backside to two big longshots, one she never passed, and then pulled first up but hung in the lane, barely holding 3rd. She is another who would benefit from going into a straight nw2, but she has to fight with the nw3 types here again. Pass this time for me.
2 COME ROLL WITH ME beat nw2 when she walked to the 3/4 and then just accelated away. The going is much tougher at this level and while she is probably good for a small cheque, I cant use her in with some of these.
3 THE IDEAL HUNTRESS wired nw1 off the shelf by coming a very fast back half as the chalk. She is a 3yo facing some older mares, and also has had to jump from nw1 to nw3, when she would look pretty good in with nw2. Pass for now unless she shows some huge leap in talent that suggests she can skip a level and still win.
1 DILLY TARYN has found the going tough as the competition is now deeper and faster. She is one start away from being able to drop to the bottom nw condition. I will wait for that, as she would look very good in with that bunch.
3 -- PACE, CLAIMING $17,500 FOR NW $75,000 LIFETIME.
4 PICTONIAN THUNDER raced Monday in nw2, but didnt do enough and now he dives to a cdn claimer. He also picks up J Mac and this is the kind Carm excels with. I will call him for the win as a decent price play.
3 SKYLAR dropped back into this condition last time, left out sharp, held the pocket, but then was locked in and didnt get any clearance until it was far too late. If he comes back and races like that, with any more racing luck, he should be right there with these. Big shot.
6 TAHUYA BREW has come along well since Barrington claimed him, only losing last time to a sharp horse who knows how to win, and winning 3 back. He has taken his overall time down a bit and got out a bit closer last time. He is a legit contender here, but he is no cinch either. He is a bit trip dependent.
1 FINKLE IS EINHORN seems to be in the hunt and will get it done one of these weeks. Decent shot.
2 DAVID LLOYD GEORGE is finding it tough to win lately, so I see him as a small cheque getter until he steps up and shows more in the lane.
5 DARK MOVES is 1 for 21 the last two years, with his only lifetime win a slow one at Clinton. He has had many chances lately here, and always looks good out there, but doesnt get there. I like others much better.
7 BLUE MONK blew up the tote board two back, then was well back and distanced, on the vet list last time. He qualified back okay, but didnt do much to do that either. This is a competitive field, so I will go to others. He is hard to like on his wild inconsistency.
6 KICKUPYAHEELS N is the classic Carm type who seems to be not finishing well for weeks, and suddenly she wakes up and steps up with the price rises. I will bank on that here and call her for the upset, despite the fact she has burned me a few times lately. She is willing enough and was good enough to take serious money in the Preferred a few back.
7 SHES NUN BETTOR N is as solid as they come and paced a back half in 53.4 last time just missing. Another with a decent chance and to use in the mre.
2 TUGGINGONCREDIT beat most of the contenders in here last time and she has been generally good for a while now. She can keep trying them with the claiming tag option, and might even get claimed here off her good form and money making ability. This is a trip race and she will need another one to beat them all. I say her luck runs out and someone else wins it, but Id still use her in the mre.
1 ADASHIOUS HANOVER has good early speed, and J Mac is likely to leave out, try a retake early down the backside and try to get her home. Using her early in the mile seems to leave her a shade empty deep in the lane. He buried her last time to try and negate that, but she had nowhere to go. She is the type that falls into those traps because she likes to lead, but needs a breather. I prefer others, but she isnt impossible if it all works out this time.
3 MAJESTIC VIRGIN dropped and popped last time, but these are tougher and she would need some luck and others to fail. Obviously, she is capable enough when she is very good, but I like others better. If you are willing to go 5 deep, she can be the 5th one in my view.
4 GOOD NIGHT MOON blasted home in 25.4 last time, and that got her 5th money. She relies on sitting back and coming late, which means she needs a live flow to tow her there, then go flat when she tries to pass them. I like others in here better but she is not out of it if things go her way.
8 BORN A DRAGON dropped last time, got to the top and got a slow half, then finished the job. She draws post 8 here, and moves up, into a very tough group. Pass.
5 AWESOME HILL adds lasix and exits the winter series action, getting thrown into the deep end with the salty, aged pacing mares who know how to win and go tough trips. I think she is currently overmatched by these until she proves otherwise.
5 CHIEFS DREAM GIRL drops in class with a license to take them all down. The names of all the winners in her last 6 starts would crush this bunch at 1-5. A repeat of her last mile would be good enough if she can do that.
6 PATRICIA MAE is a good leaver, drops slightly in class, and draws a much more favorable post. She is a contender off all that and McNair can get her out again where she doesnt have to go around others, which is what usually gets this kind beat in this class. Shot.
3 KAYS DELIGHT just missed last time and she gets in slightly easier this time. However, she is a very low percentage winner and is one of many. J Mac sticks here, so that is a positive. Shot.
4 CUSTARD LITE takes the big class drop here and on that alone is a contender. Types like her earn their money in this class and pay the training bill when they have to go above their heads like she has been for a few starts. I expect her to be in send mode and go as far as she can.
8 SUNNY SICILY seems to be a come late and get a piece type, as her win record the last two seasons suggests. More of the same here. She can get 4th money if things go right for her.
10 KAT draws the 10 hole here and is 2 for 40 the last two seasons. Thats enough for me to discount her.
1 HAPPY LOOKER takes a class drop here, but she seems to hang in the lane, and that is an issue that gets ones like this beat when three of them hit the wire together. Pass for now.
2 GOODNIGHT IRENE takes the class drop, but she rarely wins, which is how she gets in this class...on the nw last 10 starts option. That tells you her effort level most nights.
9 DARKRSHADEOFPALE N had a good season last year, but her form has fallen off a cliff this year, and now she changes barns, but draws the 9 hole. Lets see if she can be woken up for another try next week from a more favorable starting spot.
7 TAKEYOURBREATHAWAY is 2 for 38 the last two years, and gave it up on the lead last time. She does best with Trevor Henry in the past, and he takes the reins here. Still, even though this is the class where she excels, she has significant company on that train here to her inside. I like others this week.
5 BLACK BETTY looks like the type of mare Carm finds every now and then. Just coming into their own at 4 or 5, maturing and getting better, then he gradually builds them up and they become Preferred mares. She won right off the claim for him, rising in class and beating some nice mares, some who could beat many of these. J Mac sticks and she is the logical one to play if you are not sold on the 2 horse, which Im not.
2 SNOW SHARK dropped to this class last time, but post 10 meant she had to gun out for the lead, held that all the way but weakened late. With a better post here, she is obviously more viable, but no cinch. Others have good form as well. One of a few to use.
7 LADY ROCKNROLLA A has been flat in the lane lately, and overall as well, but she can pop off anytime and be dangerous with this type. Id use her in mre on that chance. She has good early speed and that can get her Snow Sharks pocket. If she can do that, she would be dangerous with a brave trip.
3 SUNDAY AFTERNOON jumped it off early last time in the Preferred, which she had no shot anyway. She drops back down to the class she was competitive in before that, but she wasnt winning it either. She is possible, but she tends to find ways to lose races like this.
6 MY MOTHER PEARL moves up in class where she has been on the edges of the winner. I like others, although if you are going 5 deep, she is the next one Id take.
4 SPORTY TORI rises up to this class without winning, and she has been a low percentage winner for a while now anyway. This is a mixed bunch, she is not without some chance, but others look better unless she flukes off the perfect trip and finds a seam late.
9 TWIN B TIPSTER drew well last time but didnt do enough to hit the ticket, and now she draws poorly again. I cant see her beating the top 3 contenders here.
1 BEST HONEY HANOVER has been away very slowly in two tries since being claimed and made close with the pack type of recoveries, which werent good enough for a cheque either time. She has to rise in class here, and thats enough for me to shop elsewhere looking for contenders.
8 MAJOR LEAGUE N won at the bottom, but she doesnt appear good enough to go with this type anymore, especially when she is the type that insists on leading and going too fast early. One to wait on when some money drops off and she can find softer types with a better post.
7 -- PACE, CLAIMING HANDICAP $22,000 TO $30,000.
4 ROYAL RENEGADE doesnt win often lately, and not in 11 starts this year, but he takes a slightly lower tag this time, and that gets him the 4 hole. With his sharp leaving ability, that makes him a sneaky good chance to get a soft trip to the lane. These types, a different one seems to pop up for a couple of weeks and become the better one. Maybe its his turn.
3 LAST MACH was claimed by Carm last time and now adds lasix. Lets see what he can do. He will need 2 seconds or more improvement to beat all of these.
5 BELIEVE IN BRIAN was claimed 2 back by Fellows, moved up to this level and was a close 3rd at the wire. He seems to need a soft, inside trip to beat this kind. That is hard to rely on, but not impossible with all the action we normally see when these types battle it out week to week.
1 MAYHEM LIKE ME won off the claim for Puddy, a reclaim right back, but to keep him now he has to move up to face much tougher. He will have to prove he can go with these. Im on the fence as his big late move isnt as potent when he is coming to this type.
6 HERESTHATMANAGAIN has been 1st or 2nd in his last 5 starts, and won this class last week with J Mac driving. He was claimed then, and now gets Brett McDonald at the controls. I dont like the trainer change and the driver change, and every little thing counts at this level. I will go to others as his price is likely to be short here.
10 QUAN BLUE CHIP just missed last week, but takes the highest tag here and that gets him post 10. That means he spots them an extra 2 or 3 lengths on top of what he has before, and his finish means he doesnt get as close as he did last time. Pass.
8 ROCK N ZEUS will drop into a claimer here, but drew poorly, outside a bunch of hard leavers, so he would have to take the overland route on the last turn. He just looks a few steps short of the best ones here at this point. He is a 6yo with 4 life wins and that says something about his ability to finish with better horses.
7 MACH IMPACT stopped badly last time, and that has been a trend lately. His last 5 are all bad, and now he goes back on lasix. I cant see him until he shows some positive finish. There are no freebies in this class, and perhaps he races okay this time and then bottoms out in the nw3000l5 next week.
2 SUNNY BO faded in the lane last time, badly. The 2nd race in a row he has done that. He was super sharp before that, but it seems he is a bit worn out now. He was a very low percentage winner for the longest time, then found life. Now, that life seems to have left him. Pass until he shows me a turnaround on that form. Puddy didnt go back in and take this one. That says something about what he thought he had left currently.
9 SEA LAIRD tried to come late last time, as usual, but first off the claim for the hot trainer of the month, he couldnt get there. He is another that was sharp a few weeks ago, but has tailed off. Post 9 here, I cant see him getting it done.
8 -- PACE CLAIMING HANDICAP $12,000 TO $18,000.
4 NO TIME AT ALL was claimed 2 back by the trainer owner. The 4th claim on the page for this one. He raced well, and got up for 3rd money. He is very consistent and possible with this group if he gets the right trip. He can leave enough and close well enough if things go his way.
5 JAYDENS PLACE was claimed 2 back, wins his share and was 2nd last time to a current bearcat. He is capable of starting better and that would be advisable here to avoid a parked out journey. He is possible but its a trip race and if he doesnt get a good one, he is beatable.
3 ART OF FIRE has started slowly in his last 3, but in the past has shown he can blast off if you want him to. He doesnt seem to finish well if you do that, but perhaps somewhere in the middle, like holding your position without blasting off and then using his one run move could get it done. Its a longshot, but this race looks ripe for one. J Mac sticks with Carms one from the rail, and so McNair gets the call,and he is the one who blasted off with him before.
7 CENTURY GIGALO tried better 3 times in a row after winning this class, but he could only manage small shares. So, he drops back in here, likely to get claimed, but he won off an easy trip and if he tries to leave here, he will pay a price. If he backs off and lets them battle, he has a shot. Tough to know what Sorrie will do but he is a savvy guy, so Id use him in mre as if it sets up for him, he is capable of taking them all down.
6 BETTOR NOTBITTER A was claimed 2 back by the trainer owner with the big percentage average, but faded badly, and now adds lasix. He is another who has been popular, claimed 4 times on the page. This will be his first decent post in a while, so he is another likely blasting off, and he could get the worst of that by the time he makes the top, if he does. I dont think the race sets up good for him and his form isnt good right now anyway. I like others.
2 SAUBLE PLAY was a bad actor going to the gate last time and jumped it off. He then made a huge recovery to get back in the race and didnt just tail off, but had too much to do. If he can behave this time he is possible with this group.
1 MISSION THREE didnt make the final of the claiming series, as he needed 2nd last time and didnt get there. He has 6 3rds and nowins out of 10 starts and has had a lot of legit chances to win races he loses. Carm or no Carm, not this one for me.
4 VILLAGE JADE has run into some tough customers recently, and cant seem to get by the best of them. One of them returns here, but eventually her turn will come. With a good post like this, I would think Fillion knows the best place to be is on the front, let one of the faves go, and try a second move deep in the lane. She can win this at a price if that happens.
2 EMMY LOU HAYES returns to this class, where she has been solid for weeks, and gets to stay at this level due to the optional claiming tag. She fits with these and has a shot if things go her way.
3 CRUSHED PEARL missed last week, but has been a solid 4 for 4 since starting her career late. She won with ease last time, with minimal reminders midlane, but now she will have to go a second or two faster, which she has not done recently. We will see what she is made of when she doesnt have the big edge she did on the previous foes.
7 DAZZLIN ROSIE came flying out of the pack late last time and was by them all just past the wire. The driver change certainly made some difference. She will get a lot more tote play this time, and there are still some tough customers in here to take down. Id use her in the multis, but she will have to show she can move early and still finish like that.
6 EASYRUNNER HANOVER went even, and okay in her first try at this track for the new trainer. She can step up and do better, so be mindful of that, but she will have to. Im inclined to wait one more and see how she responds to a tough trip.
1 AINT SHE PERFECT moves up a class after a solid win at nw3, and now meets up again with Crushed Pearl, who she could not handle to that point, and others who are of her class and experience. This is a deep field. I will wait to see how she does but she might need a few to get up to speed.
8 PAULAS BET HANOVER has made a good buck for her connections so far, but only won 3 times. She appears to be the type that hunts the contenders, but wont pass them. Post 8 only makes that tougher here. Pass on her this time.
5 BOTTOMOFTHENINTH seems to have hit a speed and class wall lately, and these are still tough foes for her to overcome. Until she shows she has more, I will assume she doesnt.
9 BROKEN has been on the edges or struggling and now moves up a level and takes the outside post. I cant see her being good enough to turn that around.
1 BLUEWATER BEACH was claimed back by Riley and he puts her in a protected spot rather than take a likely easy purse and lose her again. She will have to beat a proven stakes winner who won her first start at this track, but otherwise, these arent much tougher than she has been blowing away.
8 EXOTIC DRAGON shipped from out west off a month off last time, as her stakes career is over there. She simply used her class to mow them down easily, and now faces a similar bunch with one addition who is on a hot streak. She has also been known to throw in a clunker if you run at her. If someone does and she is put on the front this time, she is beatable. Based on the post, I would think Cullen takes the off the pace approach again.She will be tough if that happens.
5 SO FRISKY shipped in from the Bs last time, cut the mile, and gave it up to the likely favorite in here. She has good tactical leaving speed, but she would do well to let someone else cut it here, and if she does, she can turn the tables at a price.
6 SHEMARS LADY HAVOC raced a rock solid 2nd to the 8 horse last time, and loses Jody to the 7 here, but picks up McClure. If there is a battle in front of her, she is capable of picking them all off, but more likely, she comes late and is mid ticket.
3 SMOKE N REACTOR N gets a small amount of class relief on her return here, a much better post than her last at this track, and J Mac. All of that means she has a fair shot if the two favorites dont perform to the standard they have lately, which happens.
4 BIG DIAMOND raced okay last time in this condition and finished with broken equipment. Most of the ones in front of her that night are back, so she will have to step up.
7 CENTURY GEORGIA did well for Montini off the claim and was 2nd in the final, although no match for the winner and it was a tiny field. She was also running in horrible in the lane, and this is a much deeper and talented field. I cant see her being dangerous with this bunch.
2 CATCH AN ACE ships in from the B tracks, where she just hasnt been doing enough to be dangerous, and some of these are better than those. Sorrie is good with longshots like this, but its hard to like her on current form against a couple of very tough cookies.
9 ESCAPE THE HOUSE a private purchase, with terrible form, shipping in from Northfield, off 7 seven weeks and draws the 9 hole. Toss for tonight and lets see if she can show something to go on for next time.